It seems like as long as you didn't contract it in a sexual capacity, you're considered in the clear — not "dirty" for having genital HSV-1. "People use words like, 'he was an innocent victim to HIV' for a hemophiliac, but 'she deserved it' for someone who had unprotected sex." When I spilled the beans about my diagnosis to my mother, her reaction of confusion and quiet judgment left something to be desired.
I'd seen her with cold sores growing up and it was heartbreaking to not have her support when we basically had the same skin condition.
There's the awkwardness of telling new partners — because you're not vulnerable enough when you first start dating someone.
But by far one of the most frustrating things is hearing people who get cold sores get defensive about how they're better than those of us with "full-blown herpes." Guys, I have news for you.
It was like the UTI from hell with all these weird other symptoms thrown in. I held an ice pack to my crotch as tears of frustration streamed down my face and onto my twin bed.
The backs of my thighs ached, I felt like I had the flu, I couldn't wear tight pants. I desperately Googled my symptoms, hoping I'd discover I had adult chicken pox or something else, else.
For example, it's commonly assumed that HSV-1 only causes cold sores on the mouth, and HSV-2 is when something exists on the genitals.
In truth, either strain can exist on your mouth or genitals.
I feel excluded from the world of spontaneous stranger hookups and one-night stands.
The next morning, I took a cab to an urgent care facility where a doctor confirmed my worst fears.
She prescribed me Valtrex, an antiviral treatment that I take every day to suppress outbreaks, and sent me on my shell-shocked way.
When I asked him if he considers his cold sores herpes, he said, "It doesn't matter what I consider it to be. Would he have disclosed his cold sore status to me if I hadn't said I had herpes first?
In the same way that he only got a cold sore once, I've only ever had an outbreak once.
Maybe I'm bitter because of my personal experience.